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Mindset + Curiosity = Growth

Like most educators swimming on Belouga, I’ll never forget the first time I met, Drew Crismon. It was a balmy February morning in St. Louis, Missouri at EdCampSTL where I was facilitating a session on Curiosity-Based Learning. Drew wasn’t just raising his hand, he was raising his hand like his pants were lit every time I asked a question about curiosity or experiences in the classroom with curiosity. He simply could not be contained.

When we chatted later, my mind was further blown to find out he was a math teacher. With apologies to my 8th grade math teacher, Mr. Yarkakow, I had never made the connection between curiosity and math teachers before.

In my line of work, it’s not unusual to encounter educators curious about curiosity like Mr. Crismon, but few are as passionate about the concept of curiosity. What proof do I have? Drew took a Curiosity-Based Learning activity I shared and immediately applied it to a presentation in his PhD course. By modifying and adapting the activity for his specific audience and purpose, he also grew the activity.

What transforms Drew from a Bruce Banner sort of a guy to hulking out in massive amounts of curiosity? You’ll have to ask him.

Seriously, ask him: @RollCrismonTide

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If you were to ask me, I’d speculate it’s Drew’s overall passion for his profession. I suppose you could say he has the right mindset to handle the myriad challenges and celebrations of working in education.

An example of how Drew is using his passion to share his expertise in addition to learning from other experts is how he took a quiz from a website and modified the questions to become a way for students to reflect on whether they have more of a growth mindset or a fixed mindset in the Discover Your Mindset Episode he created on Belouga.

Another way Drew uses his passion to power his profession is how he never considers himself “just a teacher.” He’s the “curious math teacher!” And, in becoming so, he has certainly grown my idea of who math teachers are and what they can be. Meeting educators like Drew may make me cringe at memories when I was in school, but it also gets me pretty darn pumped for the future of what learning can look like.

That is, if you have the right mindset.

*Author’s Note: This is one of many stories of global educators I have been fortunate to meet and now excited to share with the World. Thank you for getting curious with me!

Matt Murrie

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